Austin defies Texas law by passing a resolution that makes the city a “sanctuary” for “transgender” minors

In a 10-1 vote, the City Council approved a measure protecting children seeking to undergo sex reassignment treatments.

The Austin City Council approved a resolution making the city a sanctuary for transgender minors seeking sex reassignment treatments.

Although the measure directly violates the state law that seeks to protect children by prohibiting hormonal and surgical gender transition interventions in minors, City Council members approved the resolution presented by Councilman Chito Vela in a vote of 10 to 1.

The only opposition came from Mackenzie Kelly of District 6, who expressed concern about potential costly lawsuits against the city.

“The State of Texas has enacted laws that, regardless of personal opinions, have passed through the lawful, democratic process, and represent the legislative will of Texans. Attempts to undermine state law exposes the city to legal risk,” Kelly said.

The new resolution states that the city will not use its resources to investigate or sanction transgender people seeking medical care, nor will it limit eligibility to receive city funds for providing medical care to transgender people.

The measure also requires the city manager to explore programs or identify resources to help Austin residents who face legal consequences for providing health care to transgender people.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office will seek to ensure that Austin complies with state law

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton assured that his office is already evaluating “all possible responses” to ensure that Austin complies with SB 14 legislation, which Governor Greg Abbott signed last year.

“The resolution is no more than an empty political statement (…) If the City of Austin refuses to follow the law and protect children, my office will consider every possible response to ensure compliance. Texas municipalities do not have the authority to pick and choose which state laws they will or will not abide by. The people of Texas have spoken, and Austin City Council must listen,” says Paxton’s statement, which warns that Texas will continue to punish anyone who violates the law.

SB 14

The SB 14 legislation went into effect on September 1, 2023, and prohibits any minor from being exposed to hormone therapies or gender-change surgeries. Additionally, it establishes consequences for Texas doctors who provide this type of care, including the possibility of losing their medical licenses.